Working with Children Checks – Follow-Up

Audit focus and scope

This performance audit followed-up our 2014 audit Working with Children Checks. The objective of the audit was to assess whether the management of the WWC Check has improved since the 2014 audit and contributes to the safety of children. We reviewed the implementation of the 2014 audit recommendations and assessed the effectiveness and efficiency of the WWC Check.

This audit focussed on the questions:

  • Have the recommendations of the 2014 audit Working with Children Checks been implemented?
  • Are arrangements for the notification by relevant authorities of new offences by WWC cardholders effective?

In conducting this audit, we:

  • reviewed policies, procedures and key documents
  • interviewed staff in Communities, the WA Police Force, the Department of Education, the Department of Health, and Health Support Services
  • analysed WWC Check data from Communities for the period January 2014 (prior to the previous audit) to June 2019
  • performed procedures to ensure the accuracy of Communities’ data prior to our analysis.

The report identifies instances where we have relied on Communities’ calculations and not performed our own analysis.

We planned to conduct a high-level review of WWC Check processes and compliance at the Department of Education and the Department of Health. However, during the initial stages of our high-level review we concluded this area warrants further audit attention and commenced further audit work to determine if a number of State Government entities comply with WWC Check requirements. More specifically, we are assessing whether the entities understand which positions require a WWC Card, ensure that relevant employees hold a WWC Card, and regularly monitor and report compliance to their senior management. The findings from our audit work will be separately reported to Parliament.

This was an independent performance audit, conducted under section 18 of the Auditor General Act 2006, in accordance with the Australian Standard on Assurance Engagements ASAE 3500 Performance Engagements. We complied with the independence and other ethical requirements related to assurance engagements. Performance audits focus primarily on the effective management and operations of entity programs and activities. The approximate cost of undertaking the audit and reporting is $296,130.

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